Equibase Company on Tuesday reported that total U.S. Thoroughbred handle in 2015 reached $10.67 billion, a 1.18 percent increase from 2014 when $10.55 billion was wagered.

The move to positive territory was aided by a solid month of December when $694 million was wagered, an 8.09 percent increase over the $642 million handled in December 2014.

“It was the first year-over-year increase in U.S. pari-mutuel wagering since 2012 and only the second time wagering increased annually since 2006, prior to the ‘Great Recession,'” said Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

“In addition to an overall increase in U.S. pari-mutuel wagering in 2015, Thoroughbred racing also realized healthy increases in wagering per race (+7.25 percent), purses per race (+4.27 percent) and starters per race (+1.8 percent). These are positive trends and a reflection of the fact that our sport continues to resonate with customers across North America and around the world when we present a competitive and compelling product.”